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Who will it be? Breaking down Florida State's QB battle

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Deondre Francois
Deondre Francois (AP Images)

MORE QB BATTLES: USC | Alabama | Michigan | Notre Dame

The start of fall camps is right around the corner and at several major programs the focus will be on the quarterback position as former elite recruits battle it out for the starting job. In weeks leading up to the start of camp, we will take a look at some of the most high-profile battles and have National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell weigh in on how he sees things shaking out.

Today we look at the Florida State Seminoles.


It’s the dawn of a new area at Florida State, where first-year head coach Willie Taggart hopes to bring a new energy to Tallahassee. The Florida native is back in his home state after a year in Oregon and one of his first major decisions will be to choose the starting quarterback to lead his team into 2018. Luckily for Seminoles fans, he has a pair of experienced and talented quarterbacks returning.


As a recruit: Francoise saw his recruitment take off during the spring after his junior season and as his stock rose, several programs entered the mix for his services before he ultimately chose Florida State over Auburn, Florida and others.

College career: Francois redshirted his first year on campus but won the job heading into the 2016 season and quickly became one of the nation’s top young quarterbacks. That year, Francois threw for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his passes. Last season, he was once again poised to lead the ‘Noles but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season-opener against Alabama. The injury kept Francois out of spring practice as well, but he will enter 2018 as the most experienced quarterback on the roster.

As a recruit: Blackman’s recruitment saw its share of starts and stops, as he picked up a very early offer Miami only to have to wait for more schools to really push for his commitment. After wowing on the camp circuit in the summer prior to his senior year, Blackman picked up several offers, including one from Florida State. He jumped on the chance to commit to the 'Noles and made his pledge in August of 2016.

College career: Blackman was thrust into action last year following the injury to Francois and after taking his share of lumps early, he continued to impress as the year went along. He finished the year with 2,230 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his passes. With Francois hurt, Blackman spent the spring running with the 1’s and had a chance to get a jump start on picking up Taggart’s offense.


As a recruit: A well-known prospect from his freshman year in high school, Hockman collected offers from all over the country before making a commitment to Georgia as an underclassman. After Mark Richt was fired from Georgia, Hockman re-opened his recruitment and took a long look at Auburn and Tennessee before committing to Florida State.

College career: Hockman spent the 2017 season redshirted and backing up Blackman. In this year’s spring game, Hockman was 11-of-22 for 203 yards and one touchdown.


"This is a tough call but I’ll go with James Blackman here because of the experience he gained last year in some tough situations and his work in the spring. There is a new offense, a new coaching staff and any advantage will be key so his work this spring while Francois was hurt gives him the slight edge. This one could go either way."